$7.2m Pacific maths programme launches in schools

  • Hon Jenny Salesa

Thousands of Pacific learners across fifty schools in Auckland will benefit from the expansion of a Pacific-centred mathematics initiative that was launched by the Government today.

The $7.2 million expansion of the successful Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities or ‘DMIC’ programme over the next four years will help boost Pacific students’ maths outcomes by supporting schools to leverage their learners’ Pacific knowledge and culture, says Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.

 “DMIC draws on students’ Pacific culture and heritage to support their success in maths. For example, students will use traditional Pacific crafts like tivaevae (Cook Islands quilt making) and ta’ovala (Tongan weaving) to engage better with complex mathematical thinking and algebraic patterns,” 

“This funding will see teachers work differently with their students in mathematics, and support schools to build a stronger sense of belonging and identity for their Pacific students as mathematicians,”

Funding will be used to provide:

  • three days of professional development over a year for teachers;
  • in-class mentoring for teachers at each school;
  • teacher mathematics workshops held after school for staff;
  • parent and community mathematics workshops; and
  • mathematics workshops for students in the school holidays.

“Teachers are taught how to listen – to hear the mathematics thinking that children are doing as learners work and explain their thinking. By doing this, teachers can identify the different types of mathematical thinking that learners are using and build on this to extend learning for all students in the class,”

“The future of learning is through project-based work and mixed-ability groups and DMIC encourages this. Children can benefit from moving from streaming, or same-ability grouping, to mixed-ability groups so that they are able to build on the multiple strengths and capabilities of every member of the group,”

 "We’re investing in the roll out of the successful DMIC programme because we know our Pacific students have so much more to contribute through maths if teachers and students, alongside their families, are given the right support to make the connections between mathematics learning and Pacific cultures. We’re excited to be able to roll it out to more schools, more students and more families,”

 “This funding will deliver training and wraparound support for teachers, children and school communities through workshops and in-class mentoring. Success in maths for Pacific learners in this way can lead to better learning outcomes and improved wellbeing at school,”

 “Complex maths is embedded in Pacific cultures and expanding DMIC is about reclaiming our mathematics legacy to ensure our Pacific learners have thriving futures through maths,”

“New Zealand has the capacity to produce a new generation of Pacific mathematicians ready to go into our universities, businesses and research facilities; this is the next step to unlock that potential.” said Jenny Salesa.